What is hysteroscopy?
Hysteroscopy is the inspection of the inside of the uterus using a thin, telescope-like device called a hysteroscope. This device is inserted into the uterus through the vagina and cervix.
Hysteroscopy is often used to help with diagnosis or treatment of a uterine problem. As minor surgery, hysteroscopy may be conducted in an operating room or in Dr. Sargent’s office. In some cases, little or no anesthesia is needed. The procedure generally poses little risk.
To allow for visibility, a passed through hysteroscope to expand the uterus, while a light is shined through the device to enable viewing of the inside of the uterus. For more complicated procedures, a laparoscope may be used at the same time to view the outside of the uterus. If surgery is to be done, small instruments can be inserted through the hysteroscope.
When is hysteroscopy used?
Hysteroscopy can be used by itself or as part of another procedure, such as a biopsy or laparoscopy. It can by used to diagnose or treat a variety of conditions, including:
- abnormal uterine bleeding
- infertility due to a defect in the shape or size of the uterus
- repeated miscarriages
- adhesions (bands of scar tissue that form in the uterus, often causing infertility and changes in menstrual flow)
- abnormal growths such as polyps and fibroids
- a displaced intrauterine device (IUD)
- endometrial ablation (a procedure in which the lining of the uterus is destroyed to treat some causes of heavy bleeding)
How should I prepare for hysteroscopy?
Hysteroscopy is best done during the first week after a menstrual period. This allows a better view of the inside of the uterus.
Prior to hysteroscopy, you may be asked not to eat or drink for a certain time before the procedure.
Various kinds of anesthesia may be used with a hysteroscopy. Discuss your options with Dr. Sargent.
What should I expect after the procedure?
If local anesthesia was used, you should be able to return home after a short time. If regional or general anesthesia was used, you may need to be monitored for some time before you go home.
If hysteroscopy is done with laparoscopy or if gas is used to inflate the uterus, you may experience pain in your shoulders. In most cases, this pain passes quickly.
You may feel faint or sick or you may experience slight vaginal bleeding and cramps for a day or two.
Contact Dr. Sargent if you experience severe abdominal pain, heavy vaginal bleeding or discharge, or fever over 100.5 degrees.